A few frequently asked questions about digital marketing
Ideally, all your online marketing efforts should lead potential customers to your website, where they find content that's relevant and interesting and keeps them on your site. Your content should then direct customers to check out your tours and activities pages where they'll find information about your services and book a trip with you.
If you've not caught on, your biggest marketing and selling tool is your website. It's where your customers will find out about you, your trips and your team. It's where they decide if they want to spent hard earned cash and vacation days with you.
Don't give them a reason to choose someone else - work on your website as it is your most important marketing and sales channel.
Which online channels should you prioritise?
This should depend on the following questions:
- How much resources (time and energy) can you allocate to each channel? Be realistic about the time you can actually allocate to maintaining these online channels. I would suggest starting off with 2 or 3 channels.
- Which channels are you likely to find your customers on? Who are your customers and where are you likely to find them? Check out this infographic for interesting insights into social network demographics.
- How do you best communicate? If you communicate best through long form content, start a blog. If you're able to express yourself in less than 140 characters, focus on Twitter. Prefer pictures? Use Instagram or Pinterest.
How will you know if your online marketing strategy is working?
By measuring your results and testing it against alternative ideas. There are two parts to this answer so I'll address the first one, then the latter.
Measuring your results across your online platforms doesn't have to be a complicated affair. In fact, whichever online platform you choose to promote and market your business, it will likely come with a reporting tool of its own. The trick to is figure out which numbers lead to a sale and which ones are "vanity metrics".
The second part to this question is to test your current strategy against alternative ideas or hypotheses. There are many different ways of doing this, from experimenting with an entirely new platform to A/B testing minor details like the colour of your "Book now" button or the the text on your headers.
Taken together, these two aspects of measuring and testing can help you identify what's working and what's not. To find out why requires more rigorous A/B testings too.
Online marketing super bundle
Now that some important questions are out of the way, here's a long list of all the practical and useful content we've published on marketing. Feel free to bookmark this page to return to it at a later time too!
- Marketing 101: Build your online presence to get more bookings - This is a great place to start if you're new to online marketing.
- Marketing 102: Build your distribution network to get more bookings - Not sure which platforms to promote and market your trips? Here's an ebook to help with that.
- The ultimate social media guide for tour and activity operators - Learn how to create a social media marketing strategy.
- Instagram guide for tour and activity operators - Learn how to leverage on the largest photo-sharing platform on the planet and turn it into your own marketing machine.
- The ultimate SEO guide for tour and activity operators - Got a website going? Learn how to optimise your website to get more traffic and ultimately, more bookings.
- Google AdWords Handbook for tour and activity operators - Get more out of your marketing efforts by experimenting with paid advertising online.
- TripAdvisor 101: Gain better reviews and more engagement - Turbo charge your TripAdvisor and learn how to leverage on your reviews to drive more bookings.
- Plan your next marketing campaign - A guided worksheet to help you map out upcoming marketing campaigns.
- 35 questions to know your customers better - Need better marketing messages? Start by clearly defining your customer base.
- Social media planner - Get your social media marketing efforts up to speed with our free social media planner.
- TripAdvisor checklist - Improve your profile on the world's largest review site with this handy checklist.
- Website improvement checklist - Your website can become your best marketing and selling tool. Give it a boost with tips from this checklist.
- High season checklist - Get your company in tip-top shape with these tips.
Top blog posts
- How to create a marketing plan - Get back to basics and learn how to create a marketing plan for your company here.
- The true value of a niche marketing strategy - Not sure why you should go niche? Check out this blog post and webinar by marketing consultants Omo and Eulanda.
- How to tell if your marketing strategy is working - Learn how to measure and track important metrics that lead to a booking.
- How to monitor your company's online reputation the right way - Another article to help you track the right metrics to find out if your marketing strategy is working.
- 5 tips to build a stand-out brand - Need to get your marketing messages right to cut through the noise? Here are 5 tips to start.
- 5 simple tips to increase online visibility with inbound marketing - Use content to attract more visitors to your site.
- A marketing guide for each stage of the travel customer journey - Learn how to create the right marketing strategy for each customer.
Social media marketing
- Building a social media strategy for tour and activity operators - Here's a back-to-basics blog post to get you started.
- 10 practical social media tips - The title says it all, practical tips for you to put into action right now.
- 7 time saving tricks to create regular content for your social media channels - If you decide to prioritise social media in your marketing strategy, here's how to create kick-a*s content.
- How to stay on top of social media during the high season - The high season is perfect for generating content for social media, here are a few tips to stay on top of it all.
- Key social analytics that tour & activity operators need to monitor - Not sure what to monitor on social media? Here's a low down of the important metrics you need to note.
Every TripAdvisor post ever published
- 10 tips for companies to improve their TripAdvisor rankings - A great guide to start off your TripAdvisor marketing journey.
- 3 effective strategies to improve your TripAdvisor reviews - Get better reviews to attract more customers. Here's how.
- 3 ways to improve your TripAdvisor rankings after the 2016 algorithm change - In case you missed it, TripAdvisor changed their algorithms leaving a lot of operators back at square one. Here are 3 ways to get back on track.
- Our Spotlight interview with TripAdvisor on the democratisation of tourism - We interviewed Blanca Zayas, Associate Director of Communications for TripAdvisor Spain and Brazil to learn about where TripAdvisor is headed, and how tour and activity operators can make the most of this platform. (Highly recommended reading!)
- 7 important emails every tour and activity operator should write - Got a list of subscribers? Here's what you need to send to keep them engaged and convert them into bookings.
- How to grow your subscriber list with giveaways - Use this tactic to grow your email marketing list.
Distributing your tours
- 3 tips to promote your tours and activities with resellers - Learn from our partner Musement, about how to make the most of resellers.
- 21 distribution channels tour operators should consider using in 2017 - Need to find different avenues to promote your tours, here are a few platforms to consider
- 10 tips to make more money with OTAs - Not sure if you should work with Online Travel Agents (OTAs)? Here are some tips.
- DIY website upgrade email course - Get 5 free lessons delivered to your inbox and start putting practical tips into practice today!
Remember to bookmark this post for future reference! We will be updating this from time to time, as we create more useful content to help tour and activity operators like you market the life out of your tours. Finally, if you found this useful, please forward it to a friend on social media or via email!